Wash and dry tomatoes, cut off tops about ½ inch. Discard tops and scoop out the center of the tomatoes. Again, discard the pulp. Sprinkle cavities with salt and pepper. Invert on a rack and drain well. Cook the peeled and quartered potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain well.
This dish of tomatoes, and potatoes is unique, yet simple. Tomatoes and potatoes were not introduced to Italy until well into the 19th century, when they were brought from the New World to the Europeans. Initially, most ignored these vegetable, but as they came into use and into favor, the Italians embraced them with the reverence of all the other vegetables that preceded them . . . And was to keep their preparation simple and elegant.
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